So it’s been over 4 months since my little Teddy came along. In the grand scheme of things, he has not been alive for very long. He has learnt a lot about being earth side, and he has shown that even though he had a rough start with feeding and sleeping, he can still manage to meet plenty of his milestones with a (giant) smile on his face.
On the other hand, it has been a really long and difficult 4 months for my life. Steven got a new job around a month after Teddy was born, which required us to move to Adelaide. We are currently living with my parents (which has been really handy with Teddy) and we have had to make the regrettable decision to give our dog up for adoption as there is nowhere for her to live with us.
Moving meant that I (technically) don’t have a job to return to, as my job is over 3 hours away from where I am living, and I worked so hard to get that job that it is killing me to miss out on the opportunities of going back to work.
I have also found it really hard to network and make friends, and most people are working during the day. I can;t help but mourn the close group of friends I had before I moved that had babies and were at home too.
Something else that I did not foresee was the weird, sideways comments that you get from people (especially your partner) that seem to suggest that you stay home all day and do nothing. I have always been a hard worker, and I worked hard until the moment I went on leave. I worked hard to complete my degree, and land myself a reasonably well paying job, that offered me time off, and paid maternity leave. Yet there is always an aftertaste to people’s comments that says “hey, you do nothing all day, and maybe you should do more around the house”.
Like, I keep the house clean, and I am always making sure the washing is done and that I am keeping everything in order. I babysit my 1 year old nephew, and I help everyone I can. Yet I feel guilty for being at home. I feel guilty for going out and enjoying the world and my baby, because everyone else has to work.
In my mind I know that I am still earning a good wage, and that I should be out doing things to negate these feelings of self hatred and purposelessness that I feel every day. Some days I venture out and then there will be the “oh sounds like you had a fun day playing at the park all day, that must’ve been hard” and that’s enough to ground me for a week.
Even I think that I’m probably being too sensitive, but then I think that I’m probably not catching a vibe if it’s not there.
It’s been a considerably difficult time in my life. I should be enjoying this. People tell me to enjoy this time, and I couldn’t begin to speculate on how many times I’ve heard “enjoy it while it lasts” but I’m not enjoying it.
I don’t have a house (yet). I don’t have an established group of friends to rely on or share my experiences with. I don’t have a private space in which to have a bad day. I don’t have my dog. I am barely visited or invited out. I don’t want to venture out anymore.
“But you have your baby, he’s the biggest blessing you could ever have”
Yeah well then I’m just an A**hole, because no matter how much of a deep, yearning, relentless love I have for that child, I still can’t help but feel like I’m having a s*** time.
There’s the down. The up?
People say that it’s hard being a Mum and you naturally assume the sleepless nights, and the baby spew and the gross nappies. What I didn’t see coming was the grief of your past life, the loneliness that comes from being at home with a baby all day (babies aren’t actually very good company) and all of the other stuff that comes from everyday life that apparently doesn’t stop just because you have a baby now.
I can’t help but feel guilty for wishing that I had done things differently before I had Teddy. And that feeling sucks A**.